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What is hospice?
Hospice is a philosophy of care focusing on comfort and quality of life at the end of life.
Hospice is medical care for someone of any age who:
- Has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness that no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.
- Is likely to live six months or less if the disease takes the expected course.
- Is ready to live more comfortably and stop treatments aimed at prolonging life.
Hospice can help people:
- Live as well as possible for as long as possible by increasing the quality of their life on their terms. It neither prolongs life nor slows death.
- Sort out their goals of care and what quality of life means for them.
Hospice provides a team of professionals that offer patient and family support to manage symptoms, coordinate care, help people communicate, and make decisions about their care.
What can hospice help with?
- Visits to the patient’s location by an interdisciplinary team that may include:
- Hospice physician
- Medical social worker
- Physical and / or occupational therapist
- Speech-language pathology services
- Dietary counseling
- Home health aide
- Chaplain or other spiritual adviser
- Symptom control and pain relief with medication and other services recommended by the hospice team
- Medical equipment like wheelchairs or walkers, and medical supplies like bandages and catheters
- Short-term care in the hospital for times when adequate pain and symptom management cannot be achieved in the home setting
- Temporary relief for caregivers to avoid or address “caregiver burnout”
- Grief and loss counseling for patient and loved ones
Licensed hospice programs exist throughout Washington State and are available to provide end-of-life care no matter where you live.